A federal judge in Texas struck down the Biden administration for giving LGBT individuals special rights not enjoyed by others in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had specifically exempted LGBT employees from workplace policies on dress codes, locker rooms, bathroom behavior and use, and pronoun usage.
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the new EEOC policy from June 2021 wrongly interpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling forbidding employment discrimination based on sexual preference and gender identity.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who brought the lawsuit against the Biden administration and the EEOC, praised the ruling in a statement on Oct. 6.
Paxton also amended the state’s lawsuit 7 months ago to include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after the agency issued new rules to guarantee access to so-called gender-affirming health care for transgender children. The HHS policy came after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, directed state agencies to initiate child abuse investigations of some families with transgender children, and after Paxton said such care can constitute abuse under state law. A growing number of health professionals and legal experts say the abuse extends to providing double mastectomies on girls, and penis removal on boys – controversial elective “gender-affirming” surgeries that are now being banned in several states across the nation.
“The court decision is not only a win for the rule of law but for the safety and protection of Texas children,” said Paxton.
“The Biden Administration’s attempts to radicalize federal law to track its woke political beliefs are beyond dangerous. I will continue to push back against these unlawful attempts to use federal agencies to normalize extremist positions that put millions of Texans at risk.”
The Supreme Court issued its ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County on June 15, 2020, finding 6-3 that employees can’t be fired from their jobs because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Two conservative members of the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, and Chief Justice John Roberts, joined the four liberals then on the court by voting to expand the meaning of the word “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While Title VII of that federal statute from the Civil Rights Era prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, it doesn’t mention sexual orientation, preference, or identity.
Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in June 2019, found (pdf) that the high court ruling provides workers protection against being fired for their sexuality or gender identity but does not protect “all correlated conduct.”
When pressed “to expand the Title VII analysis and definition of ‘sex’ beyond mere status to reach a ‘broader scope’ of conduct, Justice Gorsuch expressly declined,” Kacsmaryk wrote.